Dementia patient at care home assaulted by resident who twice crawled into other women's beds, lawsuit alleges
Father Lacombe Care Centre in Calgary says claim by family of 87-year-old isn't warranted
The family of an 87-year-old woman with dementia is suing her long-term care facility in Calgary after it was reported she was sexually assaulted by another resident who is alleged to have crawled into bed with two other women.
The statement of claim, filed by the elderly woman's daughter, also suggests the Father Lacombe Care Centre (FLCC) — named as a defendant — did not have a policy for reporting or investigating sexual assault allegations at its facility.
According to the document, police conducted an investigation and found there had been a sexual assault in April 2020. The elderly man involved was moved to another care home.
CBC News will not name the woman as she is, allegedly, the victim of a sexual assault.
Sexual assault didn't take place: defendant
The man is only identified as John Doe in the court document. He also suffers from dementia, according to the FLCC.
In a statement to CBC News, the FLCC denies a sexual assault took place but concedes that the man entered the woman's room.
"The female resident did not say she was assaulted nor did she say she was physically touched by the male resident. It appeared she slept through the entire time period the male resident was in her room, which was a matter of minutes," said the care home.
"There were no signs whatsoever of any form of assault."
The FLCC says it is a "highly regarded care provider" in Calgary and takes the concerns of their residents' families seriously, "even when those concerns may have no foundation."
None of the allegations have been proven in court and no statement of defence has been filed.
Removed from home
The lawsuit seeks more than $150,000 in damages, claiming the care centre did not protect one of its vulnerable residents.
Specifically, the document claims that three months before the assault, the man had twice crawled into bed with other women at the care home and had exhibited other "dangerous behaviour." The lawsuit does not say how it came by this information.
In February 2020, police had to forcibly remove the man from the facility at the request of staff. He was returned to the home in late February, according to the document.
"Neither his care plan nor his quarterly review was changed to reflect his sexually inappropriate behaviour and no further measures were put in place to prevent him from assaulting other residents," reads the claim.
On April 16, 2020, the man entered the woman's room and undressed himself beside her bed, according to the statement of claim; that's where staff would eventually find his pants and slippers.
The woman was found in bed with the blankets pushed aside and her nightgown raised above her waist. Her incontinence pad had been undone and the pillow, usually between her legs, had been removed, the claim alleges.
Investigators from the Calgary Police Service and a provincial government Persons in Care investigation came to the conclusion that a sexual assault did occur, according to the statement of claim.
The lawsuit says the care centre should have had a plan in place in light of the man's history.
According to the claim, the woman suffered psychological and sleep issues, "humiliation, degradation, shame, fear and embarrassment."
The plaintiffs say the care centre knew or ought to have known that the man "posed a serious danger to the other residents and failed to act to ensure [the woman] and other residents were safe."
Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary. If you have a good story idea or tip, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @CBCMeg. You can read more of her recent stories here:
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